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No signs of foul play in Ottawa teen's drowning at Montreal music fest: Quebec coroner

Collins Obiagboso, 18, of Nepean, Ont., drowned in the St. Lawrence after becoming separate from his friends at the Osheaga  music festival in Montreal last year.
Collins Obiagboso, 18, of Nepean, Ont., drowned in the St. Lawrence after becoming separate from his friends at the Osheaga music festival in Montreal last year. - Postmedia News Service

An Ottawa teen drowned soon after disappearing from a Montreal music festival last summer but there’s no evidence that he was the victim of a crime, the Quebec coroner concluded in a report released Tuesday.

“This is a traumatic death whose exact circumstances could not be determined,” Dr. Gilles Sainton concluded in his report on the death of Collins Obiagboso.

The École secondaire publique De La Salle student, who had just turned 18, was visiting family in Montreal when he and some friends went to Île Sainte-Hélène for the Osheaga Music and Art Festival Aug. 3.

The foursome was in a dense crowd in front of the stage at about 7:30 p.m. when Obiagboso left the show without telling his friends or taking his belongings from a common backpack. His friends searched for him but he wasn’t seen again.

The “kindhearted, gentle” teen was reported missing to Montreal police, who launched a search.On Aug. 6, a boater found his body floating in the St. Laurence River at the tip of the island.

A post-morten examination found no defensive or traumatic injuries or drugs. Pathologists were unable to test blood alcohol levels because of the body’s decomposition although there’s no evidence Obiagboso had consumed alcohol.

“It was not possible to know why Mr. Obiagboso had left the show or where he had gone,” Sainton concluded.

Nor can it be determined whether Obiagboso — whose mother said could not swim — fell into the water or wanted to cool off on the 25 C evening, Sainton wrote, adding that there is no evidence of the involvement of anyone else or suicide.

“I miss my boy,” Obiagboso’s mother, Georgina Mensa Boboe, told this newspaper through tears from a friend’s home in Montreal after his body was found, adding “I wish I was there to help him when he needed help.”

A GoFundMe campaign raised more than $11,000 for funeral expenses to the Ottawa mother could bury her son in Montreal where he was born shortly after their arrival in Canada from Nigeria.

By Megan Gillis

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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